Unit 2: Reading Comprehension and Literary Response

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Unit 2: Reading Comprehension and Literary Response

  • Test-Taking Tips #2
  • Talk to the Text Review: Owning What You Read
  • Reading Comprehension Strategies
  • Reading Informational Texts
  • Reading and Analyzing Literature
  • CAHSEE Essay

Test-Taking Tips 2

  • Read all directions carefully before answering any questions.
  • Breath! Relax! The test is untimed, so there is no reason to rush.
  • Believe that you will pass the test. See yourself opening up the envelope of test results and receiving a passing score. You will pass if you believe you can.

Reading on the CAHSEE

  • 7 Vocabulary Questions
  • 18 Reading Comprehension Questions (read a passage and answer questions)
  • today
  • 20 Literary Response Questions
  • (read literature and answer questions)
  • today

Talking to the Text (TtT) Review

  • Talking to the Text (TttT) means “talking” with your pencil on a text. It helps you “own” what you read!
  • You can write down whatever helps you, including
    • underline important phrases or sentences
    • write your questions, clarifications, summaries, connections, predictions, or visualizations in the margins
    • even mark places you are confused or don't understand something.

Other reading strategies to use:

  • See p. 65
  • Analyze- break down the information to examine the individual ideas (TtT)
  • Infer make educated guesses based on the evidence in the text and what you already know
  • - guess what will happen based on what you know.
  • Main ideas/Details- analyze how the author organizes information using main ideas and details.
  • Predict

Inference Activity

  • Directions: Read about Josh and his dad. Then write about what you think Josh and his dad will do.
  • Josh woke up early on Saturday morning and
  • looked outside the window. The sun was out and
  • it was hot. His dad called to Josh and said, “It
  • is a perfect day, don’t forget to bring a towel!”
  • Josh grabbed a towel and they left the house.


  • Where do you think Josh and his dad were going?

Distinguishing Between Different types of Texts on the CAHSEE

  • Question to ask: What type (genre) of text is this?
      • Literary Text: the purpose is to tell a story to make a point, express a personal opinion, or provide an enjoyable experience
        • Poem
        • Play
        • Short Story
        • Essay
      • Informational Text: the purpose is to convey or explain information
        • Job Application
        • Brochure
        • Business Letter
        • History/science/biographical text
        • Etc.

Reading Informational Texts

  • These types of texts are ones you read to find out information, not for pleasure
  • Usually, they are laid out so that you find information fast
  • Structural features such as headings, bullets, graphics, and numbers are there to help you find the information you need.
  • Most times, they have already chunked the text for you with these features. Use them!

Literary Response and Analysis

  • 20 Multiple Choice Questions
  • These types of texts include
    • Poetry
    • Play
    • Fiction
    • Essay
  • The Literary Response and Analysis section of the CAHSEE asks you to read literature and answer questions about it.
  • There are 2 main types of characters:
  • Protagonist - Main character; usually the “good guy”
  • – The character who opposes the main character in some way; the “opponent”
  • see p. 95
  • Characters: The different people in the story
  • Antagonist

Protagonist/Antagonist Example

  • see p.95
  • On The Simpsons, Bart Simpson is the protagonist and Principal Skinner is one of the antagonists.

FOIL Character

  • Foil character is either one who is opposite to the main character or nearly the same as the main character. The purpose of the foil character is to emphasize the traits of the main character by contrast only.
  • Example: In the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, both Patrick and Squidward serve as foils to Spongebob. Patrick is nearly the same as and Squidward is opposite to Spongebob.


  • see p. 95
  • A main problem in the story that the main character faces.
  • Can be internal or external.
  • Internal Conflict: A character “at war” with him or herself (exp: Ariel has to decide whether she should leave the ocean) Ariel-Part of Your World
  • External Conflict: One character versus society, nature, or another character (exp: protagonist vs. antagonist) Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker

Types of External Conflict

  • Man Vs. Nature- Main character fights against nature.
  • exp: In Titanic, the ship passengers fight against the iceberg that breaks the ship.
  • Man Vs. Man-Main character fights against another character.
  • exp: In Titanic, one of the main conflicts is between Jack and Rose’s fiancé.
  • Man Vs. Society-Character fights against the rules of his/her society.
  • exp: In Titanic, Rose fights against the rules of her family and upper-class society when she falls in love with Jack.


  • see p. 107
  • Plot: The pattern of action of a story; the series of linked events that make up the story
  • Usually starts with a problem or conflict that has to be resolved.
  • Exp: In Cinderella, the plot begins with the conflict between Cinderella and her wicked stepsisters.

Plot Structure

  • see p. 107
  • A. Exposition: Introduces characters and setting
  • Introduction of conflict: The major problem/conflict of the story is introduced.
  • (Rising Action: Builds the conflict and helps develop characters)
  • Climax: Highest or most exciting point in the action
  • (Falling Action: After the climax, plot slows and moves towards resolution)
  • D. Resolution: The conclusion to the story in which the major conflicts are solved.


  • see p. 107
  • A look at a past event. The author stops the action of the story to go back to an event that happened at an earlier time.
  • A novelist may include a flashback to reveal a childhood incident in the life of an adult character.
  • Titanic
  • What movies or books have flashbacks in them?


  • See p. 107
  • Hints or clues in a text that suggest what may occur later
  • in a narrative.

Point of view and Narrator

  • The point of view is the perspective from which a story is told
  • The narrator is the fictional person telling the story. He/she describes events form a specific point of view
    • 1st person point of view: telling things from the narrator’s own perspective. (I, me, my, we, us, our)
    • : telling things from the perspective of an impersonal observer who does not take part in the events (he, him, she, her, they, them)
  • 3rd person point of view

Point of View tutorial

  • Literary Terms
  • Theme
  • Author’s Purpose
  • Tone
  • Mood
  • Drama
  • Symbolism
  • Theme
  • see p. 101
  • A theme is the lesson learned in the story. Also described as observation about life or human nature.
  • A universal theme can be found in the literature of m any different cultures and from many different times.
  • Exp: The theme of Cinderella is “the best things come to those who wait”

What is the theme and author’s purpose?

  • Cars-Short Film
  • Summarize the story
  • Think-pair-share

Cars Short Film: Theme and author’s purpose

Author’s Main Purpose

  • The different reasons why authors write something
  • Example:
  • The Author's Purpose

Authors purpose music video

  • Tone
  • see p. 167
  • Tone is the way words are used to convey a writer’s attitude towards a subject.
  • E.g. Serious, sarcastic, romantic.
  • “It was a dark and stormy night” sets a scary, uneasy tone vs. “The sun was shining brightly on the meadow” that sets a happy tone.
  • Mood
  • see p. 125
  • Mood is the feeling created by a piece of literature. Another way to think about it is the way you feel when you read it.
  • The Twilight Zone
  • Some literature makes you feel sad, others joyful or anxious.

Tone-video clip

Tone vs. Mood

  • Tone is the feeling or atmosphere the author means to set.
  • Mood is the feeling or atmosphere perceived by the reader.
  • Drama
  • see p. 90
  • Drama, or dramatic literature is another word for play.
  • Plays/dramas are when characters tell a story in a theater performance.
  • Characters in a play speak in , the words characters speak on stage.
  • Stage directions are directions in play scripts that tell actors what to do and how to say their lines (Usually in parentheses and italics)
  • dialogue
  • Dramatic Monologue
  • see p. 90
      • Dramatic says that it could be acted out on a stage, and is a form of drama (theater).
      • Monologue is a long speech that one person makes, either to themselves or to another character.
      • • A dramatic monologue is written to reveal both the situation in the play and the character’s thoughts.
        • A soliloquy is just like a dramatic monologue, but it is spoken to the audience and is part of a longer play.
        • An aside is when a character speaks to the audience.

Dramatic Monologue

  • What do you notice about the speaker?


  • see pg. 101
  • A symbol is a person, place, or thing that stands for an abstract idea or concept.
  • Exps:
  • Object
  • Idea
  • Rose
  • Love
  • Sunshine
  • Happiness
  • Dove
  • Peace
  • Hawk
  • War
  • Sometimes the symbols are not as clear as the examples above, because sometimes authors create their own symbolism within a story.

Combining Sentences

  • Compound sentences: A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses. The clauses of a compound sentence are either separated by a semicolon (relatively rare) or connected by a coordinating conjunction.
  • FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
  • Example:
  • My dog has hair hanging over his eyes. He looks just like a dust mop.
  • Combined with and
  • My dog has hair hanging over his eyes, and he looks just like a dust mop.

Complex Sentence

  • A complex sentence is made up of two ideas connected by a subordinating conjunction (because, when, since, after, before, though, although, if, unless, when, where, while, etc.).
  • Example: My friend shares her lunch with me. She doesn’t like what her dad packs.
  • Complex: My friend shares her lunch with me because she doesn’t like what her dad packs.

Practice, practice, practice.

  • http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/quizzes/combining_quiz2.htm
  • Writing Applications
      • REMINDER: On the writing portion of the
      • CAHSEE exam, you will be given a
      • “Writing Task” which is one essay prompt.
      • You may be asked to do one of the following
      • Biographical Narrative
      • Response to Literature
      • Expository Essay
      • Persuasive Essay
      • Business Letter
  • Biographical Narrative
  • see p. 210
  • Tells the story from the life of a real person.
  • Often, this type of CAHSEE essay question will ask you to write about someone who is important in your life.

Biographical Narrative

  • Don’t forget the narrative element of this composition
  • Setting: place and time of the story.
  • Characters: people in the story.
  • Plot: the problem in the story.
  • Climax: the turning point.
  • Resolution: The ending or how you are now as a result of the experience.
  • Chronological order of the events.

Use this graphic organizer to organize your thoughts and story

Peer Edit Step by Step

  • 1. Highlight the thesis
  • 2. Does the thesis make sense?
  • 3. Highlight Topic Sentences.
  • 4. Do they directly relate to the thesis?
  • 5. Read entire essay
  • 6. Does it make sense?
  • 7. Are there any grammar or spelling errors?
  • 8. Does the intro and conclusion have at least 3 sentences?
  • Does the Body paragraphs have at least 5 sentences?

Homework Due Next Session

  • From Measuring Up (Talk to the Text on all reading assignments)
    • pp 42-44 "e-How to Assemble a Scooter"
    • pp 48-51 "Copyright your work"
    • pp 104-106 "A Tale of Love"
    • pp 116-118 "Cast up / The Night Has a Thousand Eyes"
    • pp 147-151 "A Young Lady of Property"
    • pp 159-161 "The Shepherd's Daughter" (Building Stamina)
  • Vocabulary Flashcards
    • Plot, foreshadow, theme, symbol, tone, mood, foil character, conflict
  • Biographical Narrative Essay Rough Draft
  • Biographical Narrative Final Draft

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